Crossing the Streams: A Universal Traveler’s Guide to Public Urinal Etiquette

Copyright Ken Brady. No reproduction without express permission from the author.
(Originally published in DAILY CABAL, 2010)

Attention Human:

1. Idle chatter is discouraged. If you must talk while whizzing, stick with safe topics such as the exchange rates of galactic currencies. Avoid referencing the weather with terms like “pissing down.” Never talk about sports. Trust us.

2. No matter how appetizing it may be, the toilet cookie (urinal cake/deodorizor block in some sectors) is not a dessert item. Note that this will not stop certain species from eating it.

3. Some reptilian races may compliment and/or challenge you by releasing their urine in your direction. Remember that while pissing off an alien is generally a bad idea, pissing on an alien is, sometimes, necessary to your survival.

4. Do not put foreign objects in the urinal. Galactic restroom sanitation services have the technology to tag your items and send them back to you via rapid teleportation. You do not want this.

5. Don’t use your communicator to update your status or whereabouts, even if using less than 140 characters. It makes you look like a douchebag.

6. We realize the urge to look at your neighbors’ equipment is strong. Resist this urge, especially on rimworlds. Nothing is a faster weenie shrinker than close inspection by three dozen purple eyeballs.

7. Pointing and laughing will usually result in death.

8. Whistling and humming can often be taken as sexual come-ons. Unless you are into that sort of thing, keep your mouth closed and save that rendition of “It’s a Small World After All” for when you’re alone.

9. Do not smoke. Some species expel gases which are much more silent and deadly than you can imagine. And just because you haven’t smelt it doesn’t mean someone hasn’t dealt it.

10. Wash your hands. Push the button clearly marked “soap” as all other cleansers will melt your flesh. When drying, we suggest the lowest possible setting unless your insurance covers emergency limb replacement.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll make it out of the bathroom alive.

This has been a service of the non-profit organization Not All Humans Are Dumbasses.

Let’s work together to make humanity look good – but not so good that they eat us!